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The Zimbabwe African People's Union, 1961-87: A Political History Of Insurgency In Southern Rhodesia

ISBN: 9781592212767
Publisher: Africa World Pr
Publication Date: 2005-01-15
Number of pages: 321
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This book is an exploration of the political history of insurgency in Southern Rhodesia between 1961 and 1987, with particular reference to the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU). Formed on December 17, 1961, ZAPU became the first revolutionary, national, movement to explicitly call for majority rule on the basis of one-man one vote.

During the early years of its struggle, ZAPU employed non-violent means to try and achieve its goal for majority rule and a non-racial society. Because of the belligerency of the White settler regime, ZAPU added the armed resistance to its strategy of non-violence, and went on to build a formidable army. During the struggle, ZAPU contributed diplomatically and militarily towards the liberation of Zimbabwe. In 1980 it lost elections to its compatriot party, the Zimbabwe African National Union but joined the government at the invitation of the latter.

The marriage of convenience between the two parties dissolved in less than three years, and what followed was the unconscionable persecution of ZAPU members and the AmaNdebele, the people who formed the core of ZAPU, by ZANU in its drive for a one-party state. The party’s resistance of intimidation and violence for more than five years, helped foster a climate of political pluralism in the country, the climate that was further enhanced by some of its members’ theater. Tired of being hunted down, and also seeing its own members butchered, the ZAPU leadership decided to merge its party with the ruling party on December 22, 1987.

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